Speaking when she launched a GBV Fast Track Court in Chipata this on Tuesday morning, Justice Elizabeth Muyovwe who is also chairperson for the advisory committee on Gender in Development at the Judiciary of Zambia said male victims of GBV were there in the country and encouraged them to “break the silence”.
She gave an example of two cases that the Judiciary dealt with in the Supreme Court both involving two female appellants who were convicted of defilement.
“These cases bring to the fore the fact that although the majority known sexual offenders are male, there are girls and women out there who are sexually abusing male children and men. Our eyes should therefore be open to ensure that perpetrators of GBV regardless of gender face the full wrath of the law and this calls for gender balanced approach in the fight against GBV,” justice Muyovwe said.
Similar courts were launched in Central Province and Lusaka in 2016 while the third GBV Fast Track Court was launched in Mongu last month.
Justice Muyovwe gave a background of GBV fast track courts in Zambia.
“In what could be termed as ‘ judicial activism’ in November 2012 the Judiciary, through the Zambia Association of Women Judges(ZAWJ) with the support from UNDP held a national symposium under the theme
“Gender Based Violence: the Way Forward.” It was out of this national symposium that the need for Fast Track Friendly Courts was identified.
As earlier stated, through the efforts of the UNDP and co-operating partners, funding was sourced to establish GBV fast track courts including this one we are launching today,” Justice Muyovwe said.
She said the fast track courts were a valuable asset in the fight against GBV.